Round-up of the latest news and developments from the Asian insurance market with stories from Willis Towers Watson, XL Catlin, Berkshire Hathaway and more.
Willis Towers Watson names Weaver as leader of corporate risk & broking in APAC
Willis Towers Watson has appointed Simon Weaver as leader of corporate risk & broking (CRB) for Asia and Australasia.
The appointment is part of the firm’s strategy to grow its CRB business on a global scale.
Weaver’s current role as head of CRB for Asia has been expanded to include operations in Australia and New Zealand (Australasia).
In his new role, Weaver will be responsible for driving CRB’s growth across Asia Pacific by coordinating Willis Towers Watson’s global CRB capabilities with the company’s regional and local market expertise. As a key part of this position, Weaver will lead teams from the lines of business, sales and client management functions to win new clients, expand existing client relationships, and capitalise on opportunities to enter new industry sectors.
Weaver boasts over 20 years of insurance and broking experience in the region and will dedicate his time between Asia and Australasia to focus on strengthening client relationships and to find new ways to enhance and strengthen CRB’s capabilities and client offering throughout Asia Pacific.
Head of CRB International, Adam Garrard remarked: “Simon’s extensive risk management and insurance broking industry expertise, combined with his deep understanding of Asia-based clients and markets, makes him very well positioned to help us to maximise engagement with our clients and to drive business growth. Simon’s appointment reinforces Willis Towers Watson’s commitment to delivering excellent client experiences across Asia Pacific by leveraging the company’s global platform.”
Commenting on his appointment, Weaver said: “Willis Towers Watson is focused on delivering seamless client service across the Asia Pacific region, including our market leading risk modelling, sector specialisms and our risk management and analytics and risk engineering expertise. I look forward to working with all of our clients and to further strengthening our insurance partner relationships across this dynamic and fast growing region.”
XL Catlin promotes Grant to regional manager, APAC for international financial lines
XL Catlin’s insurance operations has promoted Jason Grant to regional manager, Asia Pacific for International Financial Lines (IFL) effective 1 April.
In his new role, Grant will spearhead the IFL underwriting team in Asia Pacific including; Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore. Based in Sydney, Grant will focus on building the financial and professional risks portfolio and market presence in the Asia Pacific region.
Grant brings over 25 years’ experience in the insurance industry across Asia Pacific, Europe, UK and the US. He joined XL Catlin in Australia in 2015 as Australasia manager for IFL, responsible for driving the financial lines business in Australia as well as building the underwriting infrastructure. Prior to this he worked at the likes of; Liberty International Underwriters, AIG, AMP and Minet Professional Services.
Timothy Powell, chief underwriting officer (CUO) for IFL said: “We’re seeing increasingly litigious landscape and heightened regulatory pressure in the region, and these are impacting how companies conduct their businesses. Given Jason’s extensive experience in both the Australian and overseas markets, I’m confident that he will lead the APAC IFL team to provide innovative solutions and superior service to best meet the ever changing insurance needs of our clients.”
Craig Langham, regional chief executive – Asia Pacific for XL Catlin’s insurance business added: “We’re excited to see Jason step into his new role. His promotion affirms the deep talent pool we have here at XL Catlin and reinforces our commitment to Asia Pacific.”
HDI Global SE announces duo of appointments
HDI Global SE Australia has appointed David Gibbs as underwriting manager Western Australia based in Perth, as HDI Global SE Singapore has hired Sunil Rodrigues as underwriting manager casualty and financial lines ASEAN.
Gibbs boasts over 20 years' experience in the insurance industry including specialist underwriting knowledge in property, energy and technical lines. Gibbs joins the company from Chubb where he worked as national property manager Australia and New Zealand.
In his new role, Rodrigues will be based in Singapore and report to Graham Silton, managing director, HDI Global SE Singapore. Rodrigues brings more than 25 years international experience working in Asia and the Middle East in numerous senior underwriting roles.
Merged banking & insurance regulator cites corporate governance as first task
The first priority of China's newly formed banking and insurance regulator is to improve corporate governance at financial institutions it oversees while boosting their risk management and internal controls, reports Reuters citing a top regulatory official.
The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) will guide banks and insurers to return to their core businesses and support the real economy, CBIRC vice chairman Wang Zhaoxing said at the China Development Forum in Beijing at the weekend.
The regulator (formed after the recent merger of China’s banking and insurance watchdogs) will also tell them to minimize unnecessary off-balance sheet business, Zhaoxing said. The merger was approved by lawmakers on 17 March as part of an institutional restructuring plan of the State Council, the Cabinet.
In a related development, Guo Shuqing, chairman of the China Banking Regulatory Commission, has been named party secretary of the CBIRC, the country's top banking regulator said in a post recently.
Shuqing said at the appointment meeting that the formation of the CBIRC "is of great significance in terms of promoting the construction of a modern financial regulatory framework, improving the ability to regulate banking and insurance activities, and waging a tough war on financial risks", according to a report in China Daily.
He said the management team will push ahead in an orderly manner with the formation of the new agency and will continue to do a good job in regulation. In particular, he highlighted the importance of making sure that daily work such as financial regulation and major risk disposal will be carried out as normal during the process of institutional reform, according to the post on the CBRC website.
Wu Qing, chief economist of China Orient Asset Management, who has been a research fellow on the banking sector for many years, said: “After the merger of banking and insurance regulators, the new agency will be more effective at execution of upcoming rules and policy adjustments."
Berkshire Hathaway opens Perth office and appoints new P&C line leaders
Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance (BHSI) has opened a new office in Perth to further expand its presence in Australia while appointing new P&C lines leaders.
Anthony Prindiville will lead its casualty underwriting, joining Mark Shepard who will lead the property underwriting in Perth.
The new office will underwrite casualty, property, mining, energy, construction, power, marine, transport and logistics, healthcare liability, accident and health, and executive and professional lines for a broad range of business segments.
Prindiville joins the company with over 30 years of insurance industry experience. He most recently served as global distribution manager at Chubb Insurance Australia Limited. He holds a senior associate designation from ANZIIF.
Shepard started in BHSI’s Perth office in January. He has been in the industry for over 16 years, most recently as underwriting manager – property, technical lines and energy at Chubb Insurance Australia Limited.
Chris Colahan, president, Australasia said: “Expanding our footprint into Western Australia will enhance our ability to build lasting relationships with brokers and customers throughout the country,”
He added: “We are pleased to have Anthony and Mark at the helm as we build our local team in Perth. We look forward to developing a full suite of insurance products, risk management and claims services in this region.”